321 Artists Meets: Into The Grooves
321 Artists stemmed from the passion and desire to support emerging artists from a young age, and that is a similar story to Into The Grooves founder Lucy McCourt. At just 16, Lucy began writing and selling her slick and in-demand music magazine Into The Grooves. We had a chat about starting a business young, and some tips for emerging artists.
Lucy: Into The Grooves was turned from a simple idea I had one night when I couldn't sleep to a print magazine within a month, it was very spontaneous. I wanted to create an outlet to support young creators and showcase the best new talent. With Into The Grooves we have a balance of more well known acts alongside emerging talent, there is a lot more authentic energy when it comes up and coming bands and I just vibe with that passion and creativity. I enjoy sharing new music and then getting feedback from people thanking me for recommending them an album or artist, there is a lot of satisfaction that comes with that, also, when bands are genuinely thankful for coverage you do feel appreciated and that’s what everyone wants when they do their job.
Lucy and I both have made the jump and set up our own businesses within the music industry at young ages. I know personally for me, I’ve definitely felt some pressure around me being so young and setting up the business, like am I going to be taken seriously? Are people going to buy into what I’m doing? But I’ve also felt there have been a lot of other industry people around me who have kind of taken me under their wing and given me encouragement or been instantly willing to help me out, whether that’s because of my age or because they genuinely believe in what I’m doing, I’m not sure, but I’ve always appreciated it.
Lucy: I imagine there's a lot of pressure for anyone setting up a business but it definitely felt heightened being so young. I feel like it has both its advantages and disadvantages, most people really admire it, they can sense the passion and initiative but of course you can always sense a slight bit of doubt with some. In the long run it all really comes down to the work you do, prove anyone that doubts you wrong, it’s the best feeling.
As an artist manager, I am often the one sending the pitches to blogs asking for a feature or review for one of my artists, but have previously had experiences of receiving pitches in my previous roles. I like to think I have an idea of what makes a good pitch, and try to include everything I think is going to be helpful for the reader. One of my biggest pieces of advice would be to personalise pitches as much as you can, a copy and pasted pitch can be seen from a mile off!
Lucy: I love a good pitch. I always appreciate a personalised approach and I don’t just mean ‘Hello Lucy’ I want to know why you have decided to pitch to me, how did you find my blog maybe even drop a little complement in there.If I’m taking my time to read your email I want to know that you have taken some of yours to send my over the pitch.The amount of pitches i’m sent for music that I don’t cover is just frustrating, I get so many rap pitches. I also love a concise pitch with easy to find attachments, a FFO (for fans off) list near the top of the pitch is something I really like, I feel like it just gives me rough understanding of what I’m going into. Personalisation and sharpness are the two things that I really appreciate.
I personally absolutely love how young people are now taking more of a risk in the music industry and there are so many new businesses and concepts that are coming to light with young founders. More young people are now making those blogs, or getting into management or putting on gigs and it’s so refreshing to see. Emerging meets emerging, and that’s how music is going to move forward.
Lucy: It’s amazing to work in a industry alongside and surrounded by such amazing young talent, that’s my main reason for founding Into The Grooves. It took a couple of years for me to really get noticed and build that readership so I think I’d just say to any young person trying to get into the industry, to not expect anything to happen to fast. Building a portfolio is key, networking is essential and that all takes time but just not to give up because if your passionate enough it does work out. Be prepared to throw yourself into things, I put on my first gig with no experience and it was a great opportunity for me to learn about how it all works, this is an industry where practical experience is worth than what you get in a classroom.
If there are any young writers, photographers reading this that would be interested in joining the Into The Grooves team definitely get in touch, we don’t turn anyone away regardless of age or skill level. I am really passionate about giving everyone that crucial experience I would have loved back when I was 13/14.
You can follow Lucy’s story with Into The Grooves by following them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and heading to their website.
For more information on how to write a strong pitch, as well as building your social media and getting those high quality gigs, you can buy a copy of our ebook ‘321 GO’.